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Halloween (dir. Green)

Image: Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode sees her tormentor from 40 years previous once again © Photo by Ryan Green. Property of Universal Pictures.[Source: IMDB]

★★★☆☆

40 years since Laurie Strode narrowly escaped the cruel fate that met her friends on Halloween at the hands of deranged serial killer Michael Myers. Laurie finds that the masked killer still haunts her to this day. Michael who escapes yet another transfer goes on a killing spree on Halloween but this time Laurie has been waiting.

Director: David Gordon Green. Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Haluk Bilginer, Nick Castle [18]

After the murderous attempts at a Halloween sequel and the failings of all of them, you have to wonder what drives a sequel being made now. Perhaps it’s a fresh take on Michael Myers, provocative filmmaking techniques or an unhindered urge to produce a horrific picture. Well, this has none of that, the driving force behind this just seems to be a question that nobody wanted answered: “what would Laurie Strode be like now?”

Well, she is as you might suspect, completely paranoid and living in constant fear of the torment that would realistically follow an event like what happened in the original Halloween. It is a fascinating addition to bring Laurie back into the fold when this could have just been another group of teenagers. But it leaves a lot to be desired and lots of space for great narrative and character writing. Why wasn’t the idea of Laurie’s deeply rooted paranoia and obsessive fear looked into more? Instead, it is played off as oh she drinks a lot and is a little loopy when it comes to home security. I wanted more moments of ‘is she really seeing Michael right now?”

Which could further play with the theme of the supernatural presence that follows around Michael Myers, it is acknowledged once again in this movie. Although it does forget its own rules in which Michael just kills whomever when in the original it was breaking the rules of surviving a horror as a character in Scream put it. Despite the lack of character study, it did make me wish for something more, cool for lack of a better word. I half expected to see this large showdown between Laurie who has been planning all this time and the unstoppable force that is Michael Myers. Instead, it seems rather like Laurie hadn’t planned much at all. Still, however, the suspense is there and thankfully this is an addition to the Halloween franchise that doesn’t rely on gore for its thrills. It knows how to produce suspense and keep the audience hooked.

That’s not to say it does it greatly though. I found that a lot of the direction of the film and its edit was awkward and felt askew. At times moments that should have had you gripping your seat, instead had you rolling your eyes and becoming fed up with the whole song and dance it was putting on. It doesn’t help when you just don’t believe people are as terrified as they should be. But one performance stands strong and runs the whole show and steals every single scene. It was without a doubt sure, but Jamie Lee Curtis brings much-needed energy to this sequel.

While Curtis brings a performative energy, thankfully the cinematography does bring some of its own. Smartly mirroring iconic shots from the original Halloween and consistently bringing the theme of predator and prey to the forefront of our minds as well as playing on expectations from shots of the original movie to produce tense moments. Sadly, however, it walks almost the exact same narrative path and while a reboot such as Rob Zombie’s Halloween brought fresh ideas and new point of views to look into. This Halloween felt like the same movie from 1978 but lacking the creativity, style, performance, originality and precise direction. In the end, it is just a smart but entirely stale narrative that might as well be called a poor remake.

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